The cup is coming but what got us there?
For the April monthly meeting, Philip Freedman offers his view of America’s Cup 34 and what it takes to compete for the sport’s oldest trophy. The meeting is at 7 pm, Tuesday, April 9, at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe. Visitors are welcome.
A meteor has hit the America’s Cup and the dinosaurs have disappeared. The oldest sports trophy has become of age. In one of the biggest sport upgrades in history, the America’s Cup has roared into the 21st century and you better use a fast shutter speed to take a shot. This summer in San Francisco Bay, the 34th America’s Cup will be defended against three countries wanting to take it out of the U.S. An estimated 600,000 will watch the competition from the banks of San Francisco Bay. Never before has the America’s Cup been sailed in a bay rather than in the ocean where few could see.
These are not just sailboats, but 72-foot-long catamarans with 13-story hard-wing masts that go twice the spend of the wind and rise out of the water onto small foils. Their crew of 11 not only wears heart monitors, life jackets and helmets, but will take physical requirements to the limits.
So come spend a fun evening and hear how college, youth sailing and the twelve meters got us to where we are today. Phil warns: This will be fun.
Phil Freedman is an AYC member and longtime sailor who fielded the entry Betsy Ross for the 1990 America’s Cup challenge.
Olympian and 10-time national champion Andrew Campbell looks at the big sailing picture. Boil it down to something like this: explore and enjoy. Sure, there’s a lot we can learn about wind shifts and boat handling and that kind of thing, but a lot of the advice he offered the AYC monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 12 was bigger than that.
Here were his bullet points:
The big point is that you learn through these broad experiences, picking up something about sailing or just about life itself. Or you just have a good time with friends.
Whoa. Is this the the message from a cutthroat, world-class sailor? From a calm, focused one, it is.
Andrew is a 10-time national champion at the youth, high school, collegiate levels. Racing in the Laser and Star class, he competed on the Olympic Class World Cup level during 10 years on the US Sailing Team. He won the 2007 Pan Am Games, represented the United States at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and was ranked #4 in the World in the Star class in 2011. Now Andrew’s professional sailing and coaching experience has set him up to expand into big boats and match racing as well as writing for sailing publications.
The annual High School Championship regatta will be Saturday, April 20, at Tempe Town Lake. The boats will be C14s, using boats from the Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF). Here are the documents you’ll need to enter. Contact Regatta Organizer George Tingom if you have questions.
Fresh off an Olympic Star campaign, Andrew Campbell is a busy sailing coach and tactician… and our March Monthly Meeting Speaker. Would you like a boatload of racing tips? Andrew’s your guy. He’ll speak at 7 pm, Tuesday, March 12, at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe.
His bio on the Andrew Campbell website describes his work as a tactician on the Farr 40 Nightshift, his coaching, and much more. It says, “As a professional sailor, coach and writer, Andrew draws from experience in Olympic and top international sailboat racing. He is a ten-time national champion at the youth, high school, collegiate levels. Racing in the Laser and Star class, he competed on the Olympic Class World Cup level during 10 years on the US Sailing Team. He won the 2007 Pan Am Games, represented the United States at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and was ranked #4 in the World in the Star class in 2011. Andrew’s professional sailing and coaching experience has enabled him to expand into big boats and match racing as well as writing for sailing publications.”
AYC welcomes nonmembers at our events, including the monthly meetings.
AYC has had a long-standing policy that if takes five boats to make a racing fleet, while also saying that a fleet with fewer boats may request its own start. After an online discussion, Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock has offered this further explanation:
Race Committee should take a customer-supplier (racer-race committee) attitude. I think this is already taking place. The fleets should feel free to make requests to the race committee and the race committee should accommodate requests when they make sense and comply with the RRS and SI.
So, if there are two fleet captains who want to start together, just ask the race committee. Maybe you want to do starts with a lot of boats on the line; if the fleets agree, I’m all for it. If you want to sail all triangles or all windward/leeward, let the race committee know.
What about starting one-boat fleets by themselves? I discussed this issue with the LP Portsmouth fleet captain, for example, and he said he didn’t want to start by himself. I discussed it with the Thistle fleet captain, who said putting a single Portsmouth boat with them did not cause a problem in the past. I hope that continues to work out and we can do the same with other fleets. (Portsmouth needs to recruit more active racers though!)
More starts means longer start sequences. At Lake Pleasant, it’s 10 minutes for two additional starts—and most likely just the first start of the day. After that, starts should occur as each fleet completes the course. At Tempe Town Lake, it would be an additional three minutes for an additional start. I don’t think the fleets that want to sail by themselves would view this as much of a downside. If you really want to shorten the start sequence, just find some fleet captains who want to start together and let the race committee know. If you want to make it permanent, you could even put it in your fleet rules.
This additional thought from Commodore Mike Ferring: If your fleet is running into conflicts with boats from other fleets, please try to work out the issues with the individuals. Some of the competitors are inexperienced or unfamiliar with the Racing Rules of Sailing and may not know that they shouldn’t barge at the start or don’t know about the three-boat-length rule at the marks. Let’s bring them up to speed so they can mix it up with the rest of us (who may know the rules but push them)!